NASA Plans To Use Astronauts As Messengers To Mars

WASHINGTON (AP) — NASA’s future plans to explore Mars may end up using astronauts as space messengers.

A special team has been looking for a new Mars plan since budget cuts earlier this year killed two future robotic flights. A preliminary report released Tuesday gives NASA several options. A decision won’t be announced until next year.

Mars exploration so far has been done with orbiters and robots, like the rover Curiosity that landed last month. None of the options would put astronauts on the red planet.

But one plan calls for a robotic explorer to grab Martian rocks and take them back into space. Then astronauts would pick them up and take them home for detailed scientific examination.

NASA sciences chief John Grunsfeld said that could help prevent contamination issues.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS DC

D.C. Lottery Live
Follow and Like Us

Listen Live